Life is full of series of decisions that we make even without knowing it. We choose how to react to a given situation within split seconds. The decision to be angry or not to be angry in a given situation is make almost spontaneously. This does not mean that now active decision is made in this process but rather our accumulated sentiments quickly came to fore in these kinds of situation.
In business, making the above-described kind of decision will not take your organization so far. What you need to be successful in business is not just a well-articulated decision but a decision that is based on the concept of 3D – remember that one size does not fit all.
Our focus today will be to explore what a 3D decision making is and how to make 3D decision in business and get results.
What is 3D Decision making?
3D decision making ordinarily means nothing when taken literarily, However, I will provide an interpretation based on the context of making decisions in business.
When a situation (decision) is viewed from multidimensional or three-ways approach, it imply considering various factors and perspectives when making decisions. Traditional decision-making often involves analyzing information along a few key dimensions. In contrast, a 3D approach might involve considering a broader range of factors that interact in more complex ways.
Here are a few aspects that could be considered in a “3D decision-making” framework:
Multiple Dimensions: Instead of focusing on a single dimension (such as cost or time), decisions could be evaluated across multiple dimensions, such as financial impact, social considerations, and environmental sustainability.
Stakeholder Perspectives: Decision-making could involve understanding and incorporating the perspectives of various stakeholders, such as customers, employees, and the community.
Long-Term and Short-Term Impact: Assessing decisions in a three-dimensional manner might involve considering both immediate and long-term consequences.
Risk and Uncertainty: Incorporating a 3D approach might involve assessing the uncertainty and risk associated with different options and making decisions that account for these factors. Management tools like ‘whit if analysis’ or ‘sensitivity analysis’ comes handy here.
Technology and Innovation: Considering the impact of technological advancements and innovation on decision outcomes.
In essence, a 3D decision-making approach implies a more comprehensive, broader, and holistic strategy that takes into account a broader range of factors and perspectives. It’s about moving beyond a linear decision-making process and embracing a multidimensional understanding of complex situations.
How to make 3D decision in business
Making decisions in a multidimensional or “3D” manner involves considering a variety of factors and perspectives. Below is a general guide on how to approach 3D decision-making:
Identify Decision Objectives:
Clearly define the objectives of the decision. What are you trying to achieve? Are you majorly concerned about immediate outcome or both short-term and long-term goals? The nature of the business that your organization gets involved in is a key factor here. Being at peace with the objectives of a decision will also guide you on the type of strategic information that you will seek.
Identify Relevant Dimensions:
Determine the key dimensions or factors that are relevant to the decision. Examples could include financial impact, social considerations, environmental sustainability, stakeholder perspectives, and risk factors. You may not be able to get all possible information about this but the information you gather here will go a long way in guiding your 3D decision making process.
Collect comprehensive information related to each dimension. Utilize various sources, including data, expert opinions, and stakeholder feedback. I wrote a piece a while ago on external sources of strategic information, you may want to have a look at it.
Understand the relative importance of each dimension. It has long been established in a classic novel ‘Animal farm’ that not all animals are equal. Same goes to aspects of any given situation. Some dimensions may carry more weight than others in the decision-making process. Construct a pecking order and follow it.
Quantify When Possible:
Figures are always better than abstracts. If feasible, quantify the factors involved. This can help in comparing different options objectively. Assign weights or scores to different dimensions based on their importance.
Consider Stakeholder Perspectives:
Stakeholders are very important in any worthwhile decision. Understand and incorporate the perspectives of various stakeholders. Recognize that different stakeholders may have different priorities. It is important to know when to draw the line as far as striving to meet the needs of stakeholders is concerned.
Generate and evaluate different options or alternatives. Assess how each alternative performs across the identified dimensions. This step is the real deal when it comes to making 3D decision, no alternative is entirely useless.
‘I see risk everywhere’, is one of my favourite quotes each time I think of risk. Evaluate the potential risks associated with each alternative. Consider uncertainties and how they might impact the decision. You can hardly go horribly wrong when you do a proper risk assessment.
Involve relevant stakeholders in the decision-making process. Encourage open communication and collaboration to ensure a comprehensive view.
Consider the long-term consequences of the decision. Assess how the decision aligns with future goals and potential changes in the environment. A little bit of feasibility study will reveal a lot.
Understand that decision-making is often an iterative process. Be open to refining the decision as new information becomes available. The outcome of the previous round is often a major input in the current round.
By following these steps, you can approach decision-making in a more comprehensive and multidimensional way, considering a broader range of factors and perspectives. This approach is particularly valuable for complex decisions where various dimensions play a crucial role.
Can a business apply the concept of 3D decision making in every situation?
The concept of “3D decision-making” or multidimensional decision-making is a framework that emphasizes a comprehensive and holistic approach to decision-making. Whether businesses can rely on this approach depends on various factors, including the nature of the decision, the industry, and the specific circumstances. Here are some things to have in mind when thinking of adopting this decision making framework:
Complexity of Decisions:
Businesses often face complex decisions that involve multiple dimensions. In such cases, a 3D decision-making approach can be beneficial as it helps to consider a broader range of factors and perspectives.
Industry and Context:
Different industries have different decision-making requirements. In some industries, such as finance or healthcare, decisions may involve numerous dimensions and stakeholders. Other industries may have more straightforward decision-making processes.
Implementing a 3D decision-making approach may require resources, including time and expertise, to gather and analyze information across various dimensions. Small businesses with limited resources may need to prioritize certain dimensions over others.
Technology and Data Availability:
Advances in technology and data analytics can facilitate multidimensional decision-making by providing tools to analyze and visualize complex information. However, businesses need access to relevant data to make informed decisions.
The success of a 3D decision-making approach can be influenced by the organization’s culture. If there is a culture of collaboration, openness to diverse perspectives, and a willingness to consider long-term consequences, this approach may be more effective.
Adaptability and Flexibility:
Businesses should be adaptable and flexible in their decision-making processes. The ability to iterate on decisions and adjust strategies based on feedback and changing circumstances is crucial.
Some decisions involve inherent uncertainties and risks. Businesses need to assess their risk tolerance and determine how much uncertainty they are willing to accept in their decision-making process.
Aligning with Values and Objectives:
A 3D decision-making approach should align with the values and objectives of the business. Ethical considerations and long-term goals should be integral parts of the decision-making process. In conclusion, businesses can benefit from a multidimensional decision-making approach, especially in complex and dynamic environments.
However, the applicability and success of this approach depend on the specific context and the organization’s ability to integrate it effectively into its decision-making processes. It’s essential to strike a balance between comprehensiveness and practicality based on the specific needs of the business